“The Moment I Knew I Wanted to be a Writer”

I’ve been around some great writers and storytellers. Some days I can turn a sentence that makes me feel pretty good.

This weekend, though, I got to talk with and listen to Michael Wallis, a self-described “Son of Missouri,” who held an Altenburg audience spellbound Saturday night (except when my phone started reading out Wife Lila’s text message in the middle of his presentation).

In these days of LOLs and OMGs and 140-character Tweets, it’s refreshing to hear someone paint pictures of the mind using whole sentences.

Sitting next to Stan the Man

I was just going through the motions Friday night when he told how winning a Triple-A essay contest on being a patrol boy got him into the Cardinal dugout sitting next to Stan Musial on a night when Number 6 belted one out of the park with the Cards down 2, with two on and two out in the ninth. On the way home in an Augie Busch limo with his dad, there came that moment in the dark when he thought, “You know, this writing’s not so bad.”

When I got home, I listened to the digital recorder that had been stuffed in my pocket, then looked at some of the photos I had snapped off and thought, “maybe I can cobble something together out of this.” His words are definitely stronger than my photos, even if the audio is a little ragged in parts.

I scrabbled around for some old home movie footage of MY patrol boy days (I was Captain), a shot of Son Adam at the Cardinal stadium and some memorabilia from a 1949 Cardinal – Cubs game that might have been MY first pro ballgame to fill in some gaps.

Wallis has written 18 books, but my kids will probably know him better as the voice of Sheriff in the Disney-Pixar Cars series. He lived upstairs in the Last Chance / First Chance Tavern when he was a student at SEMO and is considering writing a novel about Cape.

You can find out more about Michael Wallis on his website.

3 Replies to ““The Moment I Knew I Wanted to be a Writer””

  1. Absolutely fabulous! Thank you for the revisit to my childhood, Mr. Wallis. Your tale was warm, wonderful, and vivid!

  2. Great story! For my Christmas present to myself, I ordered a copy of the Cardinals retrospective book about Stan the Man and his amazing career. It came today, and it is a beautiful piece. He still ranks as the best to me – a childhood hero who lived up to every imagination about what a hero should be. He was The Man. Happy New Year to you, Ken the Blogger, Ken the Photographer, Ken the Writer!

    1. Michael Wallis was the keynote speaker the next night and did a great job on telling why he is a “Son of Missouri.” I admire a man who can sling words like he can.

      Wishing you and yours a Happy and Safe New Year.

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